With so many of us working from home, it’s the perfect opportunity to up our Green game. Diana Morgan explains how easy it can be.
As a retailer of eco-friendly products, the environment is top of my agenda every day. But I understand that with busy lives, it’s easy to let it slip down. Documentaries like David Attenborough’s A Life on Our Planet, and his Blue Planet 2 episode on ocean plastic have raised the public consciousness of environmental issues. Their message is clear, we must act now to save the planet, or rather humanity’s existence on it.
But rather than plunging into despair, there are so many things we can do to make a difference, and our newfound working lives may already be helping to make a change.
It’s been found that many people who recycle regularly at home don’t do it nearly as much in the workplace. This may simply be that the infrastructure such as recycling bins aren’t there, or even that an environmental policy was put in place years ago and has since been forgotten about. But with a shift from office working to home working, an opportunity arises to reduce waste on a mass scale.
Suddenly take away lunches are a thing of the past. We cook more, we have fewer wrappers, single-use cups and straws to add to the mountain of junk. Many wasteful habits, such as automatically printing out emails, are broken, because it’s a cost that’s less acceptable when it’s out of your own pocket. Driving or flying to meetings has been replaced by Zoom, and people are wondering if they’ll ever want to do that again, with so much time and personal energy saved!
Some of these changes are automatic, but there’s more that can be done with a little bit of effort. Here are seven ways to take action for the environment when working from home:
- If you do take a break to your local café, bring your own keep cup. I have a bamboo cup, and as well as being better for the environment, coffee and tea taste much better from bamboo than from cardboard or polystyrene.
- If you like an iced coffee or drink anything else with a straw, switch to the biodegradable kind, metal or bamboo straws.
- When you pop in your laundry over a ‘break’, think about switching to eco-friendly cleaning products. They are really effective, and pretty comparable in price with the toxic chemical alternatives. I use the word toxic advisedly as somebody I know took her old products to her local dump and was turned away because they are poisonous! If anyone in your household has allergies, it’s worth looking into whether the products you use are adding to or even causing the problem.
- Working at home you’re bound to be topping up the bin more often, so using biodegradable bin bags is a great way to reduce plastic waste.
- Spending more time at home you’re likely to use more electricity, but keeping an eye on your smart meter can help you to keep track and switch off unnecessary electric use.
- Some electricity you can’t turn off, such as your office lights. In that case switching to LED lights dramatically reduces electricity use.
- When you need to relax at the end of a busy day with a nice bath, consider switching to eco-friendly bath bombs and solid shampoo bars. Eco-friendly products have come on a lot and are really effective, better for skin and allergy-friendly.
Small changes can make a huge difference to the world, if we all play our part. The impact that could be made if we all use our new working from home lifestyles as a trigger to make these small changes is vast. And if you do find yourself back in the office at some point, please see what you can do to keep up the good work!
Diana is a retailer of eco-friendly products and a professional blog post writer. She is a long-term member of MNC and has also been a Brand Ambassador. Her interests include writing, food, the environment, and photography.